Watch How This Passenger Fakes An Injury To Skip Lines At The Airport

Some unscrupulous people used to request wheelchair assistance at the airport when they didn’t need it and use their ‘injury’ to get earlier boarding of their flight. They’d have access to overhead bin space before other passengers were forced to check their bags. On Southwest they’d have their choice of seats on board. And flying basic economy on United they might get a free carry on bag, since the carry on bag ban is enforced as part of the boarding process.

Right now though there are very few people at the airport to help push wheelchairs so this is tough to do, and would be all sorts of awful because it currently really does make it hard for people that need assistance to get it.

However people are still faking injuries to make their travel experience a bit smoother, or at least cut lines. TSA security checkpoint wait times can be long, without enough screeners and with travel really picking up. And since it’s almost all leisure travel, the people in front of you in line have hidden metal everywhere on their bodies and don’t know what has to come out and off.

One man on TikTok shows how he fakes an injury to get priority screening from the TSA and then assistance through the airport.

Hopefully everyone reading this site has access to TSA PreCheck (perhaps through Global Entry or through the PreCheck program directly), perhaps has signed up for CLEAR, or has strategies to avoid the long lines. Be situationally aware about lines at various different checkpoints – some airports have many, and lines may be shorter if you walk to the next one. Just don’t do this.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Some might think “good for him” since the airlines and their minions can be notorious @$$holes. But this doesn’t pay THEM back – it screws the PAX’S as if they are not getting wrung enough already. What a douche. Also, what an idiot for posting his “cleverness” for all the policymakers at the airports to see.

  2. It happens often on flights from New York into PBI and FLL. People get wheelchair assistance to get priority at screening in New York, but don’t bother to wait for the wheelchair when deplaning in Florida. We call those the “miracle flights” because of the number of passengers who are miraculously cured of their ailments enroute.

  3. Ever notice how desis, who constitute less than 1% of the population account for -80% of wheelchair use?

  4. I’m not a fan of people cheating the system, but I thought this video was pretty funny. He filmed himself from start to finish admitting his own guilt. With good background music it could have played on any television sitcom.

  5. Retired Lawyer – the Fountain of Youth is in Florida (Timucua village of Seloy near St. Augustine) so miracles have been happening here for many years.

  6. I also seen this many times. A passenger would get pushed to the gate and when the wheelchair attendant leaves (without a tip) walks better than most passengers. The sad part of this is the folks who are really disabled are now unable to get assistance with the shortage of attendants.

  7. There are people that can walk short distances but not the length of the terminal to get to the gate. They can walk from the gate to the plane and their seat, and can walk off the plane to a waiting wheelchair to get through the airport.

  8. I see this almost every flight on SWA. People can walk 500 yards from check in to gate (with a carry on bag), but then get the blue boarding pass for some non-existant reason and get early boarding. Many support this saying they don’t want to be bumped getting on or off – but somehow get up right away to get off the plane with the usual crowding?? And then I see 2 or 3 “helpers” get on and off the plane with these people.

    Sure there are valid reasons – but I would guess fewer than 50%.

  9. I see this almost every flight on SWA. People can walk 500 yards from check in to gate (with a carry on bag), but then get the blue boarding pass for some non-existant reason and get early boarding. Many support this saying they don’t want to be bumped getting on or off – but somehow get up right away to get off the plane with the usual crowding?? And then I see 2 or 3 “helpers” get on and off the plane with these people.

    Sure there are valid reasons – but I would guess fewer than 50%.

  10. My wife injured her foot a week before our trip a couple of years ago, and we experienced the disabled service first hand on two different flights by Asian carriers. The advantage it gave our whole family of four, even with first class tickets in hand, was mind-blowing, especially when moving through JFK Terminal 1 (whoever had to go through the TSA checkpoint there will know what I’m talking about). The potential for abuse was also obvious: grab some old crutches and a boot, and you and everyone traveling with you are golden.

  11. As someone who actually needs extra service because I no longer can walk very well, I resent this type of behavior. If there is a god, he’ll wind up really needing a wheelchair in the near future.

  12. @Retired Lawyer: it’s the miracle cure by the Jetway Jesus that cures them.

    As an amputee who uses a wheelchair, I find this and those who abuse the system deplorable. Be thankful that you are able to walk and have full use of your body.

    I would gladly give up the “benefits” received for being disabled to no longer be disabled.

  13. The problem is the helper has to stay with you until you are on the plane which could be a couple of hours. Who is paying for this is the airline but eventually we pay for it with increased fares due to this added expense for the airline. Nothing is free! Be sensible!

  14. @Amazing Larry You mean you’re not surprised because you know TheShadeRoom on TikTok personally? What a small world we must live in! Either that or you’re just a very small-minded man.

  15. I am a retired f/a and trust me PBI and FLL were equally bad. Some of these folks went a step further…….they would book a coach seat to FFL or PBI and then get off and upgrade to FC and reboard! The wheelchair would be there waiting for them and they were first off………all to impress their friends on arrival. I started flying back in 69, trust me when I say this has been a long term issue.

  16. MLK was right. Don’t judge a person by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
    I just did. As did many others.

    Character determines destiny. Always has, always will.

  17. I’ve seen a reverse miracle. Quite a few years ago when my daughter was young we were attending a character breakfast at a Disneyland Hotel. I noticed a lady with her family at the table next to ours who got up many times to walk back and forth to the buffet and pick up food. Imagine my surprise when a couple of hours later while waiting in a long attraction line in the park I see the same lady, now in a wheelchair and wearing a knee brace get out of the wheelchair and lead her family in through the exit to skip the line because she is now handicapped! Amazing! Doubly amazing because the attraction was the Storybook Land Canal Boats where you have to balance carefully to climb in and out which would be potentially dangerous if she really had a bad knee.

    This lady did not appear to have any problems scurrying back and forth from her table to the buffet carrying a plate of food and did not show any signs of being in pain. I got the feeling she brought a knee brace with her and threw it on after breakfast to let he family skip the long lines in the park. Many people look for opportunities to game the system and it is not limited to the airport. Sad but true.

  18. FWIW, the scam only works to get on board first. For those that are truly disabled, like me, while you are first to board, you are last to deplane as you have to wait until the cabin is empty for the aisle chair to arrive.

    As for the theme parks, they got rid of that loophole and made the queues accessible so now disabled people have to wait in line just like everyone else. Speaking as a disabled person, this is the downside of equal access. 🙂

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